Paper #1 TL;DR
Much of the Twitter community would read deeper into a tweet from a baseball team account. In the example in the paper it may be seen as the MLB team did not focus on bigger issues other than baseball but by the team deleting the tweet once it realized its mistake, of using three Ks to stand for three strikeouts but could have been interpreted as something else, shows that the Giants cared about the issue more than their own personal cleverness. The team could have tried to stand its ground and emphasize the correlation to baseball but instead it took the issues into consideration and acted on them.
Short Paper #1
Many sports teams throughout the country, and even some in foreign countries, are having a greater presence on social media. Through social media sports teams, including their players, are able to have a more direct connection to their fans without physically needing to be near them. One popular form of social media for these sports is Twitter. This is a growing digital culture that has evolved throughout the years. Twitter began as a form of social media that many younger adolescents were a part of, whereas today there is a presence of people from all different cultures around the world and various ages.
Among these many sports teams that have a presence on Twitter there is Major League Baseball (MLB) teams and players. Twitter is a digital culture where teams and players can promote their own teams as well as different causes and charities they are trying to raise awareness for. Some of the main presences that affect people more locally are the MLB teams and players from California. Twitter had long been seen as a place for others to say what they were feeling without holding back. In the present, people on Twitter quickly get their feelings out and receive responses from those who “follow” their page. More often than not things are taken in a serious manner even though many people’s ideologies of Twitter are that it is a place for jokes and free expression of inner feelings. The way things are perceived relies heavily on the ideologies an individual has about Twitter which are a mix between serious and trivial. The presence of California MLB teams and players on Twitter is not focused on themselves but rather on their fans and important issues bigger than baseball.
One example of MLB players not focusing on just baseball is Mike Trout, a pitcher for the Anaheim Angels. On February 15, 2017 he tweeted a thank you tweet to the Harlem Globetrotters for donating tickets to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. The Harlem Globetrotters have a deep history in the sport of basketball and are a very popular team event. Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that helps young boys and girls reach their full potential by providing them with a one on one relationship. This event gave the kids involved in BBBS a reason to look forward to something after all the hard work they put in through the organization. Through Twitter Mike was able to raise awareness of the BBBS and most a video in gratitude for the Globetrotters. (https://twitter.com/MikeTrout/status/831902230680788992) Mike Trout as an MLB player was able to bring a serious organization to Twitter while also appealing the issue to the more trivial side of Twitter by introducing the Harlem Globetrotters into the mix which are based on more of a fun and light event.
Another valid example that despite their ability to use their presence on Twitter as a way to promote the team, they instead promote important issue more often than not is when the Los Angeles Dodgers team account retweeted a tweet of one of their star players speaking at a school about passion and education. It has always been an important issue that young individuals become educated and passionate about their futures. The Dodgers are promoting this as well as bringing to mind the importance and advantage of speaking multiple languages and becoming educated in this diverse aspect. This is an official note and is represented by student bring present in a picture with the baseball star as well as the background showing a poster with what seems to be a foreign language different from English. (https://twitter.com/StSebastianLA/status/831599699035500544)
Like many other sports, MLB players and teams as a whole have begun to have a greater presence on social media. This at times allows a direct access to them by their fans and many players use this to promote their teams and any charities they are involved in. The huge range social media provides for the MLB is what has interested me in wanting to explore more into the subject. I will explore and focus on California teams and their players’ impacts as representing the MLB’s presence on social media and the reactions from fans/followers about what is put out on social media by the MLB.
About five months ago the official Twitter account for the San Francisco Giants baseball team posted an update about the team’s game. It was in regards to the third strikeout of an opposing player, “Mr. Bumgarner gets KKKike for the 3rd time tonight”. (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/20/san-francisco-giants-quickly-remove-offensive-tweet/) The team account tried to symbolize this by adding three Ks to the opposing player’s name, which is what is used in scorekeeping to stand for a strike out. The tweet proved to be offensive to the twitter community as it seemed to refer to the Ku Klux Klan and a disrespectful word about the Jewish community. As far as I can see, the team thought of twitter as another quick way to update fans on the events of a game. It expected those who would see the tweet to understand baseball and had not thought about outside perspectives that did not pertain to baseball. Those who followed the account and the accounts of those who shared the tweet did not think about only baseball when seeing the tweet. They saw the three Ks together and a word that they recognized as offensive. Many times in the Twitter culture people are thought to put “hidden” meanings in their tweets, such as the culture of “indirect tweeting”.